The tune of Horst Wessel was not an original composition, but an old folk tune common in northern Europe ("Well-known soldiers song"). The best-known example, in the U.S., is the hymn "How Great Thou Art". Listen to a juxtaposition of Horst Wessel with How Great Thou Art and note the similarity. Thanks to a musicologist from Berkeley for pointing out this connection.

English Translation (literal)
Flag high, ranks closed,
The S.A. marches with silent solid steps.
Comrades shot by the red front and reaction
march in spirit with us in our ranks.

The street free for the brown battalions,
The street free for the Storm Troopers.
Millions, full of hope, look up at the swastika;
The day breaks for freedom and for bread.

For the last time the call will now be blown;
For the struggle now we all stand ready.
Soon will fly Hitler-flags over every street;
Slavery will last only a short time longer.

Flag high, ranks closed,
The S.A. marches with silent solid steps.
Comrades shot by the red front and reaction
march in spirit with us in our ranks.

The low-life Horst Wessel (b. September 9, 1907, Bielefeld, Germany -- d. February 23, 1930, Berlin, Germany) joined the Nazi party in in 1926. He was killed by political enemies (probably degenerate communists) in a fight in his filthy squalid rooms in Berlin. Glorified as a martyr to the Nazi cause, his song became the official Nazi anthem.

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©Copyright 1997 Chuck Anesi all rights reserved